All my life I have sought something. Not sure what it is, when I think I've got it, it moves ...and 'it' becomes something else. I can't really describe 'it' in words. But it is there.
Hoping to catch whatever I am seeking I started to collect truths.
Once I find it in a religion, I used to follow that religion, but I've gone off organized religions.
If I find it in a book, I'll buy the book and keep it and it makes me feel like I have a grip on that truth.
I have lots of books of beautiful truths. Deep and profound truths, transcendent and spiritual insights.
But is my life any better for those truths ?
I like to think so, but I also suspect there's a big gap between the books and things I've hoarded and the truth of my own life.
I have hoarded truths like a dragon hoards gold, and I've guarded my hoard with dragon like fury and single mindedness.
Because books can get lost and destroyed, I keep a collection of deep insights and truths in my mind, and review them regularly. Those insights are moments of deep clarity.
All those things are ways to hold onto and can and bottle the deep insights and truths which I have found.
In that way I am just like all the religions and spiritual traditions, they too try to bottle and can and box the truths and pass it on in some mental way that avoid real experience.
And all those ways, mine and those of the religions, only work sort of, kind of, and never really fully.
Because truth has to be lived, it comes out of experience, and experience is personal, and deep and emotional, it cannot be put in a can like a sardine into a tin and passed on to the student.
Still like those religions, I too continue to collect my books, make my mental lists... but I know those things will only ever get me halfway there.
My lists turn into dry dusty museum exhibits in my mind, and my books those precious books and journals that I once thought held that precious jewel of truth, well those books cannot help me much when I am hurt and down and struggle with relationships, disappointments, and pain. Sure, sometimes those books and insights help, by reminding me of positive ways to see things, but for real help, I have to live and experience those truths anew, I have to rediscover and LIVE a new truth, not an old museum exhibit but new truth, NOW !.
Afterwards I might look back and say, "ah but that is the truth in book XYZ which you have in your shelf here, why didn't you use that ?"
Well simple: because I have to LIVE and experience the truth, having it on the shelf or knowing it in my mind does not do much for me when I'm in pain. The loving presence of a friend, kinds words, the care and concern of sisters, parents, will help far more.
Knowing a truth and living it are two different things it seems. By collecting books and truths, I have experienced the truth of that at first hand. ;-)
I've often asked myself: What do I really possess ? I mean REALY possess ?
My things are all just stuff, that will go. All my book knowledge will go with the books, all those things will pass on one day. I don't really possess those things. They go away if the books/CD's get lost, stolen or simply become uninteresting.
What good is all that knowledge in books if I don't actually LIVE it ? Can I really take with me one day ?
So I realized only that which I LIVE NOW is a part of me.
Only that which IS ME, only that which I AM will go with me when I pass on.
Only the love I have given as a result of who I AM. Only that. This does not make the books and things worthless, but it shows me that they are tools, things given for a time to achieve something.
So then I tried to take my hoard of truths with me, and I soaked myself in the teachings I think most precious, every day so those truths would soak into me and become ME and I would take them with me.
For the mental store off truths I completed the circuit of the Mandala of my true insights, touching the points, - in much the same way as a worshiper in a Chinese temple goes from one altar to the next, offering incense and respectful worship to each of the many deities in their corners. I have hoped this would soak the teachings into me.
When I write it down like this, I know that doing this alone will never do "it", but I do it anyway.
Because it is the best I can think of right now.
I know that only what I AM will come with me, and what I am cannot be modeled and changed and engineered at will,
Because things like houses, cars, etc... I do like, but they come and go. I have no control over them because it is the CORE.
Yet since I know no other way at this point I continue to read, the deep books, review my mental list.
Of course I could also go out into life and do great acts of love, I could EXPERIENCE life more intensely and deeper. There is that way.... too, and I suspect it would be a much more effective way to learn and truly change my Being through experience.
After all, it is what I came into physical life for, to live, to experience, to feel, to BE, to go through things and through those things gain wisdom.
But I am like many people, I try to gain the wisdom of life without the pain of life experience. I try to pick only the nice bits out of the chocolate bisquit, the chocolate bits. I want the wisdom without paying the full price, I'm looking for a bargain in the wisdom department. "Wisdom, for only half the pain, going cheap, only two dollars per kilogram...hurry hurry while stocks last."
There is no need to explain why this won't work of course.
Is there ?
You are right, no need.
Will I toss all my books out ? Stop my hoarding ?
Even though my current methods are no guarantee of anything, I'll keep hoarding truths. I'm confident life will still challenge me in ways I can't predict. The totally unexpected and unforeseen and unplanned will keep things moving. Nothing is linear and straight for too long. The only unchangeable things is change itself.
Nothing more to write, that's all I wanted to say.
Heiko. Taipei, Taiwan 2010.