September 7th ~ You can know yourself only when you are unaware, when you are not calculating, not protecting, not constantly watching to guide, to transform, to subdue, to control; when you see yourself unexpectedly, that is, when the mind has no preconceptions with regard to itself, when the mind is open, unprepared to meet the unknown.
If your mind is prepared, surely you cannot know the unknown, for you are the unknown. If you say to yourself, “I am God,” or “I am nothing but a mass of social influences or a bundle of qualities”–if you have any preconception of yourself, you cannot comprehend the unknown, that which is spontaneous.
So spontaneity can come only when the intellect is unguarded, when it is not protecting itself, when it is no longer afraid for itself; and this can happen only from within. That is, the spontaneous must be the new, the unknown, the incalculable, the creative, that which must be expressed, loved, in which the will as the process of intellect, controlling, directing, has no part. Observe your own emotional states and you will see that the moments of great joy, great ecstasy, are unpremeditated; they happen, mysteriously, darkly, unknowingly.
October 31st, 2019 ~ What are we afraid of? Usually, things we already have experienced and don’t want to happen again. Are we afraid of what we don’t know? We are afraid of experiencing more than what we think we can handle. Again, more of what we already know, but too much at one time. Are we afraid of being surprised, blindsided? When I have told mentors that I am confused, they usually say: “Good.” The Dalai Lama talks about the mind being like water. Water, when muddy, can always be brought back to its original state. The mind is like that, he says. This is quite reassuring to me. When I was going through challenging times in my 20’s and 30’s, studying psychology helped quite a bit. I hadn’t really found Buddhism or meditation. When I really got worked up with anxiety, I had in the back of my mind a fear I was doing damage to myself psychologically. “Oh, I really have done it this time.” Miraculously, I would come back in a few days, sometimes in a few weeks. That always amazed me. As if nothing really happened. What are we afraid of?