The Lazy Worker

Today, I went out to clean the streets of Copenhagen. I did it with my love. I hadn’t left it pristine, so it needed a little ordering. I had crowded it with my worrisome thoughts, had encumbered it with my train of escapes, had disseminated some of my many unhappy faces along its avenues — I sure need to clean my mess. So here I am, scanning its landscapes with the blooming of presence, cleansing its pavements with the gaze of beauty, bowing to its people with the healing power of love. This job is an easy endeavour. No need for special tools. Love is accessed through presence. This is how you see every friend, every passing person, as if a long-term companion of voyage. As if we were all coming back from a giant spiritual retreat. Clear and bright. Beautiful. Lovers of being.

Isn’t it extraordinary — how quickly you can repair a world? How easily you can erase the polluting influence of mind? With its thoughts rummaging constantly for a passing, occasional relief. How the litter of separation can be done away with one single sway of the broom of presence? I’m the chief worker wherever I go — which is nowhere but in the expanse of my present experience. I was made the one responsible for the cleanliness of my city-world. To verify that all the neons of presence were shining their light in every dark corner. To make sure that the transports of happiness were running smoothly in all directions. To ensure that behind every blasting horn or tempestuous engine was a silence in sufficient amount.

And guess what? There is! There is already everything that we and the world need! It has already been cleansed through its perfect, eternal, incorruptible making. That’s why this job is only for the lazy workers. Not for the busy ones, attached to their own projected outcomes. Not for the needy ones, expecting to find in their city-world what they think will make them fulfilled and happy. This is all our world ever needs: our presence-ing it — without the ‘it’. In other words, Being.

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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Other ‘Ways of Being’ from the blog…

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Being Spiritual

‘Sea View’ – J.M.W. Turner, 1820-1830 – WikiArt

This whole adventure of knowing oneself is not about being spiritual. It’s about being alive. Not just a little bit alive, with holes here and there, where unconsciousness can creep in, and steal us the best portion of what it is to be truly alive. For life is not a collection of deeds or experiences. Life is an energy and an essence that you can feel or know as the totality of your own being. And life extends to everything and everywhere. It is not about you. It never was.

To realise our true nature is not about being spiritual. It’s about being happy. Not the happiness that shakes and crumbles at the least twist of life’s circumstances. Happiness is not meant to be so fragile. And it is not something that you have to attain, or perform. You are not meant to work for that which is your inborn due and essence. Happiness is when you cannot even form or comprehend the concept of unhappiness. It is the distinguishing trait of being.

This understanding is not about being spiritual. It’s about being wholly a human being — inhabiting this whole experience while staying rooted in your true essence as awareness. There is immense delight in being awareness through your whole body and mind. Don’t leave your human experience at the door of consciousness anymore that you should leave consciousness at the door of your human experience. Include your humanness in your understanding.

To recognise our real identity is not about being spiritual. It’s about being in a world. Feeling what a world is — its golden nature — its sacredness — its dazzling presence. Having a world as our own being. Don’t think that you cannot know it through its essence. Knowing the world is like knowing yourself. And that will make you equip the world with ravishing beauty. The world is not about an outside. It is all inside yourself, curling itself into your own being.

I don’t want to be spiritual, or special, or humble. I want to be so fully being that I cannot even formulate such ideas. I want to be so fully myself that I cannot even know the meaning of these words. And I don’t want to be perfect. I want to be soft and malleable, and utterly vulnerable. Not fragile or brittle, but open to every passing feeling, to every hue inherent in living. This is how life shows its greatness. This is how you are truly grateful for being human.

I don’t want to have the identity of being spiritual. I want to have no contours where I can be fixed and localised. I don’t want to be anything that can be bumped into, and get hurt or scarred. I want to be being only being, to leave no room for an other, or for a difference. Why should I define myself? To be truly living is to be undefinable. And to be without objective identity is to belong in everything and in everyone. This is the true meaning of love.

I don’t quite fancy being tagged as spiritual. Being spiritual is only a nice word for everything in myself that cannot quite let go and espouse the pure essence of being. These are the leftovers on the failed path of being one with my essential being. I don’t want to be spiritual any more that I want my true nature to be identified with being French, or being this or that. I want to be what I ought to be when every form of control is seen detrimental and abandoned.

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Text by Alain Joly

Painting by J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851)

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Website:
J. M. W. Turner (Wikipedia) 

Suggestion:
– Other ‘Reveries’ from the blog…

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Defining Enlightenment

‘Saint Augustine’ (detail) – Philippe de Champaigne, 1645 – Wikimedia

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A thunderclap under the clear blue sky
All beings on earth open their eyes;
Everything under heaven bows together;
Mount Sumeru leaps up and dances
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~ Wumen Huikai (enlightenment poem)

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The words for the discovery of our true nature — like enlightenment, realisation, awakening, liberation, etc — are all very significant. They all point to truth and have numerous things to say. Take ‘enlightenment’ for instance. Its original signification is ‘to shine’ or ‘to make luminous’. So to enlighten means to put the light on. It means to cease being distracted by all that is objective in our experience and doesn’t define us truly, and make what is already and absolutely ours here and now apparent. It doesn’t mean to achieve, to reach, to attain, to get something new. Where did we get this idea from? But let’s be very cautious here: to make luminous — does this even require a doing? Why should we have anything to do when the light is already fully on? So to be enlightened is really more a matter of noticing what is already here, and that we have missed due to a pathological phenomenon of blindness. We are too occupied with a thousand things, worried, concerned, busy with this and that, distracted, ambitious, desiring, grasping, expecting, and god only knows what else we have in mind to so successfully avoid seeing the patently obvious. Our true reality and identity as consciousness is already present, luminous and shining in every corner of our experience and we are blind to it. That’s where the word ‘realisation’ comes in.

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An essay exploring the signification of enlightenment… (READ MORE…)

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The End of Seeking

Beware of being a spiritual seeker. There are implications to it. First and foremost, to seek is to lack. ‘I haven’t achieved’. ‘I need more’. ‘I long for that which is not here’. See what is involved here. Seeking implies time, distance, separation. It makes you like an entity separate from the object of his or her search, which can only be attained in the future. And that puts you in the position of a believer, and a sufferer. No. Don’t be a spiritual seeker. Please don’t.

Dare simplicity. Trust nakedness. The power of being lies in its raw, empty, and natural fabric. It doesn’t need to show off with the etiquette of a seeker. Don’t extend your mistaken sense of self by feeding it with your searching activities. Don’t keep your sense of separation alive by staying in the comfortable but ultimately uncreative and barren position of being a seeker. Seeking is not what you need. Being is. And being is your own, relaxed self — not lacking — not seeking — not projecting — not longing — not needing — not believing. Being suffices to itself. It is whole. It is your one and only place of rest.

Seeking will make you clothe your naked sense of being with fancy, elaborate, and ultimately unnecessary garments. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by seeking. It is the most unfruitful activity. Everybody is doing it — and to no avail. Seeking will place you where you do not want to be. Happiness is not in the lacking, in the wanting. Happiness begins in being. Happiness comes where seeking ends. This is the true destination of the activity of searching: to be a non-seeker. All what you have sought until now is to come to the end of your search. So don’t run ahead of yourself. Being is a simple affair. Being doesn’t require anything that you do not have here and now.

To not have to seek. What a relief this is! To bathe in the simple joy of being. Ultimately, being a spiritual seeker is a bore. It is not what you truly want. The thrill of it is bound to fade, and its tiresome nature will have to be revealed. Remember this: You are seeking to end the search. This is where seeking finds its worth and its resolution. Make the search sink into its object, which is in being — where seeking ends. Sink in being. Try it once and experience how the rough sea of your suffering life, with its endless craving, will find its original and unfathomable nature as stillness. Rejoice in it. Abandon this ongoing agitation at the surface of your life. Searching is this agitation — let it be behind you. Seeking is this battle — being is its underlying peace. Being is the ultimate answer to your search. Pacify your seeking through being.

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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Other ‘Ways of Being‘ from the blog…

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The Worth of a Life

‘Back to nature’ – Robert Storm Petersen (Storm P.), 1945 – Wikimedia

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We are all blessed with moments of intense happiness, no matter how ignorant of our true nature we may be. Happiness has always been in the picture. It may have come unexpectedly one glorious morning at the start of a day-long walk in the mountains, or while falling in love, or travelling in a busy train, or quietly sitting at the window sipping tea. You know, these moments when we enjoy every bit of the world around us, when we stop indulging in thoughts and are free to just watch, hear, taste, enjoy, admire. Such happiness is self-explanatory, the proof of god, an enhancer of being. It is beauty revealed, love in action. It is the worth of a life — any life. The only time when we truly see, and hear. Birds seem to have replenished the earth. Flowers appear and butterflies dance in the thin air of our self. Why do you think that, in common parlance, happiness is said to make you like the king of the world? Why do we say that, at the time of happiness, the world belongs to us? Why does happiness seem to be solving all our problems? Does that not express the intuition of our likeness with the world around us?

Happiness is the point of absolute equality in all human beings. When somebody is ignorant of his true nature, and when he has a moment of pure joy and happiness, he becomes a prince and a master in matters of truth. But unfortunately, he remains an ignorant master, who takes that joy, that living sense of being, for granted. Who thinks happiness to be just a passing thing, an accident, a beautiful feeling. Not something that needs to be looked into, explored, and expanded. These are the lost moments of truth that pass unknown, unnoticed in our lives, relegated in the field of time, soon covered up with our crass ignorance. What matters when we are happy, what presents itself with force, is just the plain awareness of being. Being commands. Being is refined. Being is all that matters, all the knowledge we need. When we experience true happiness, we are in a position of not knowing, even if we are a specialist in non-duality, with a ‘spiritual’ etiquette attached to ourself. This is why a true spiritual teacher has no knowledge to give. His place is one of innocence and humility. He never addresses ignorant people, but converses with truth itself. She only shares being with all around her, renders happiness recognisable. Being is the supreme teacher, and the supplier of joy. Don’t let it pass.

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Text by Alain Joly

Painting by Robert Storm Petersen (Storm P.) (1882-1949)

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Website:
Robert Storm Petersen (Wikipedia)

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Other ‘Ways of Being‘ from the blog…

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A Story of Lack

‘Melancholy’ (Part) – Odilon Redon, 1876 – WikiArt

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When the ‘I’ is divested of the ‘I’, only ‘I’ remains.”
~ Ramana Maharshi

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Don’t run in the other direction. Don’t take a sense of lack for a need. For this is what we do, when we sense in ourself an insufficiency, we want to fill it up, by all means necessary. We think it important to grant its wanting, its craving. But a lack is never a need. A lack is a fact that needs no repairing and no repairman. By bowing or giving allegiance to it, we submit ourself. We give up all power of understanding. We place ourself at the level of that lack. We become small. We don’t respect it. For this is not to respect it, to obey a random sense of lack. For lack comes as the supreme teacher, and our genuine bowing to it rather takes the form of listening. This is how we bow to a teacher, how we respect it, fulfil its function: by listening to it. So we listen. We stay motionless and invite its teaching. We don’t run away in the other direction.

[…]

A story about how a sense of lack can be the real teacher… (READ MORE…)

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Longing

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Longing
Is happiness already formed
Crying for your noticing.
It is the soft yet
Heartbreaking expression
Of our forgotten completion.
To suffer was never bad;
Not a thing to run away from
Or curse, or cover, or repair.
It is presence itself ignored —
The wound that it provokes;
It is the plaint of your beloved —
Who wants to turn her down?
Pain is the ecstasy of love
Pushing hard through you,
Elbowing its way on you:
It wants to be revealed;
It aims at being recognised;
It doesn’t thrive in the dark;
Cannot quite find you
In the slumber of your indifference.
Believe me
Suffering has no other attributes
Than the radiance of your being;
No other name or identity
Than a plain and infinite joy —
That thing indescribable
Knocking at your door.

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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Suggestion:
Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)

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