Saturday, February 02, 2008
A Thousand Names For Joy
It was never born; thus it can never die.
What is death? How can you die? Who says that you were ever born? There is only the life of an unquestioned thought. There is only mind, if anything. After you think the thought "I'm going to die," where did that thought go? Isn't another thought your only proof that it's true? Who would you be without your story? That's how the world begins. "I." "I am." "I am a woman." "I am a woman who is getting up to brush her teeth and go to work." And on and on, until the world becomes denser and denser. "I am" - question that. That is where the world ends, until what's left comes back to explore the next concept. Do you continue after death? If you question your mind deeply enough, you'll see that what you are is beyond life and death.
The questioned mind, because it's no longer seeking, is free to travel limitlessly. It understands that since it was never born, it can never die. It's infinite, because it has no desires for itself. It withholds nothing. It's unconditional, unceasing, fearless, tireless, without reservations. It has to give. That's its nature. Since all beings are its own dear reflected self, it's always receiving, giving itself back to itself.
A stuck mind is the only death - death by torture. The unquestioned mind, believing what it thinks, lives in dead ends-frustrated, hopeless, forever trying to find a way out, only to experience another dead end. And each time the problem is solved, another problem pops up. That's how the unquestioned mind has to live. It's stuck in the oldest stories, like a dinosaur still chewing on the same old grass.
When I woke up to reality in 1986, I noticed stories arising inside me that had been troubling mankind forever. I felt absolutely committed to undoing every stressful story that had ever been told. I was the mind of the world, and each time one of the stories was seen for what it really was and thus undone in me, it was undone in the whole world, because there is only one thinker.
The Master stays behind, in the student's position, always watching, noticing, experiencing, realizing, and enveloped in reality, in the way of it. That's how she stays ahead of any problem. There's nothing wasted, nothing unabsorbed. She wouldn't leave anything out.
She is detached from all things in the sense that when they come, that's what she wants, and when they go, that's what she wants. It's all fine with her. She is in love with it as it comes and goes. She is one with it all. The branch sways in the breeze; as she watches, she sees that it's not true, and in that lack of separation, she becomes the branch in the breeze. She hears the sound of the garbage truck, she becomes the sound, and she tingles with gratitude that she is that. What self is there to let go of? The world begins with her, and it ends with her, right now.
- from Byron Katie’s “A Thousand Names For Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are” (2007)