Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More on U.G.

Maybe one reason I can't really get U.G. Krishnamurti's words is because they aren't really being addressed to me.

I have never been obsessed with Enlightenment (I don't know, maybe because I didn't grow up in India for one). For me, the spiritual life is about following a spiritual path and not its destination. To be a Pilgrim without Progress. My quest is only the increasingly better realization that it's Here and Now, whatever it is. If you look at a circle, there's no destination on any point around that circle; there's only one special place, which is the same distance from any place around its circumference: the center of the circle. Which has been called the Tao, or the Source, the One, the ultimate, etc. I don't look to Jesus or Buddha because I want to become them, because I want to transform myself into them personally and then say, "well, there's what I've been trying to do, transform my truth-less self into a truthful Jesus or Buddha." I’ve never thought that that's what Enlightenment is all about. I look to Jesus and Buddha because I see the truth in them and they saw the truth in me (which, sadly, many adherents can't seem to read from them). U.G. seemed never to have thought the truth was in him on his "tragic" journey; he always thought, when he sought it, that it was somewhere outside of him and his journey was an external one. That's why he acquired such a contempt for masters and gurus, upon realizing that the external search was a futile one. He had been distracted by them because of the way he approached the journey, not the way they taught it (although I'm sure some did teach it that way, and cause themselves to be a crutch, and therefore the same as a hammer to the kneecap). But are teachers, mentors, spiritual leaders, a bad thing necessarily, if they are not teaching you to depend on them and to see the answer as inside them and not you? I don't think so. They are helpers, bodhisattvas, and we should be glad they're there. Like Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, who helped Dorothy realize it was inside her to bring herself home, and that she was really close to home all along. But she did it by sending her on this adventure, which seemed at the start external but which Dorothy realized at the end was internal. Why did she have to do that? Because Dorothy wouldn't have believed her, probably. She would have just stayed there confused and frightened in Munchkin Land. The journey wasn't as much about the Wizard, or destroying the Wicked Witch of the West, as it was about what needed to be awakened inside Dorothy.

So here's the thing: you can't belittle the journey. Dorothy didn't, upon her realization that she could in fact have gone home all along, say "well then that whole journey was a bunch of crap" and accuse Glinda of being an obscurant or a false teacher and curse the moment she ever started on the Yellow Brick Road.

And you don't have to be a nihilist, and you don't have to be a fatalist, or deny spirituality, to get anything out of any of this (really, you have to do your own thing anyway, not even falling prey to the idea that you have to do your own thing in order to be doing your own thing). The person whom U.G.'s words are for is really U.G., the one who, previously to his experience on his 49th birthday, sought for external answers and Enlightenment as an event to be found "out there." To everyone else, as he said, "I have nothing to say."


Blogger Peter Maverick said...

"If you look at a circle, there's no destination on any point around that circle; there's only one special place, which is the same distance from any place around its circumference: the center of the circle."

What about the equidistant points in a line through the center perpendicular to the circle?

3:06 PM  
Blogger Joey said...

That would add an extra dimension, making the circle a cylinder and ruining the analogy. Smartass.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous peter said...

Not a cylinder - that'd require perpendicular lines through each point in the circle.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Old Bald Helen said...

Hey Peter,


Just wondering: Is that background image at ug.nu reversed?

BTW, I enjoy all your blogs, the photos, the videos, the compilation, your family's history -- the full catastrophe. Thanks much!

10:22 PM  

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