What do you do for the sake of doing it alone? Live to expand the list. When there is nothing in it for you beyond doing what you are doing for the sake of doing it alone, you are engaged in living for the experience, the expression, the wonder of being alive to life and not to get something more from it than that. This is the essence of a spiritual experience. No spiritual experience can offer more than this. When we live for the joy of being alive, we are dancing for the love of dancing, and that is all there is in the sense of "There is only the dance" (T. S. Eliot).
What are your questions? Not the questions you want answered, but the questions that are yours to answer-- the question you live to answer-- the questions your life is an answer to. What are those questions? Here are mine, the ones I am aware of at this point in my life. I am aware of growing into my questions. My life lives me into awareness. I assume it is the same with you. My circumstances raise questions for me I never considered until these particular circumstances came along. My life is teaching me to live by answering the questions that are mine to answer. Maybe that is so with you as well. Fraser Snowden said, "The only true philosophical question is: 'Where do you draw the line?'" That is certainly one of my questions! And I answer it differently in each situation as it arises. In this I am "like the spirit that is like the wind that blows where it will," meaning the spirit makes it up as it goes along. The spirit isn't following a recipe book, a book of rules and ethical standards regarding what to do when. The spirit doesn't do what anyone requires to be done, or even expects to be done. The spirit does what is called for moment-by-moment. That's me and drawing the line. It all depends on what the moment calls for. This is my second question: What is the moment calling for? That also has to be answered here and now, in the moment that is being presently lived. I can't answer that from afar. I have to listen to the moment, to attend the moment, to be alive to the moment in order to know what's what and what is being called for then and there. The third question is implied in the first two: What is important? What matters most? Right here, right now? My stock answer to this one can be answered from afar, and applied across the board: Going to hell! It is important that we go to hell! By that I mean it is important that we know clearly, without ambivalence or hesitation what we would go to hell for, and going to hell for it when the circumstances require it. This means dying, symbolically, metaphorically, and, if need be, actually, literally. We live to die. What would we die for? When everything is on the line, will we know it? Will we do what is called for? Will we go to hell, if need be? If we would go to hell for it, it's important. Do we know what that would be? That's where we draw the line. And do what is called for. No matter what.
Why questions should be disqualified as a legitimate means of inquiry, and left to gather dust in some museum as an artifact with a pedigree of uselessness from the start. Why questions are all answered ultimately in one of two ways: "I don't know." "Because I say so." The other questions, Who? What? Where? When? How? are all valid and helpful methods of getting to the bottom of our experience, putting things together, finding connections, and coming to new realizations and better ways of living-- particularly when we understand that the primary function of questions is to raise more questions, in the work to ask all of the questions that beg to be asked in each situation, and of every experience, as it arises. New discoveries flow from questions that refuse to stop. Why? is the search for a stopper.
No matter how much better I get, I could still do better. Better, I'm talking about, on every level. In every aspect of life. Consciousness, for example. You might think that by now, I could at least be conscious. I've been practicing being conscious all my life. I'm not conscious of half of one percent of all there is to be conscious of in any moment. How's that for progress. The same thing applies to every other aspect of my life. As far as I can tell, human beings are the only sentient beings who are aware of the possibility of self-improvement, of getting better. Lions are what they are. Pine trees just do what can be done with what they have to work with and let it be. A human being who is "thus come"-- who is just who/what they are, without any interest in being different in any way, is someone I have yet to meet. Buddhists talk about the Buddha as being "The one thus come," but. The Buddha spent his entire life becoming "thus come." And so do all the Buddhists after him. Being "thus come," is an ideal to achieve, not a state of being to flaunt and glory in. Any flaunting and glorying is evidence of having yet to arrive. There is no arriving. Carl Jung thought of Individuation and an unending quest to be ourselves. He talked about "circumambulation" as the process of infinitely/eternally spiraling around the Self at the Center of our being without ever attaining integration, at-one-ness. We can always get better at being who we are, by being less concerned with perfection, and more concerned with expression-- being in each moment who we are as "thus come" as we are, as true to ourselves as we are, and letting that be that. Like a lion would do it. Or a pine tree.
The Buddhists waste a lot of time denying duality. It is just a way of seeing. A perspective. It is a doorway to being at one with everything. At one with everything is not one thing-- it is many. As many as the jewels in Indra's Net. Pick a point-- any point. How many points are there? How many points are there on the head of a pin? On the point of a pin? Let's take the point of a pin as the point we pick. Now, go to the center of that point. And make that the point we pick. Now, go to the center of that point. You see where this is going. But, you probably don't see the point. The point of the number of points there are is that there are an infinite number of points in every point. Points upon points. This is the point of the still point of the universe. The Axis Mundi. The World Center is everywhere. Hang with me here. We talk about "living from the center." Which center would that be? Our center? Great! Let's go there. As we delve down to the center of ourselves, there is the center of the center to consider. And the center of that center. When do we reach The Center? And everybody is seeking the center of themselves! When we get there, we will discover that we are at the center of everyone's center! At the center of ourselves we are one with everyone's center. We are one. We are all. There is no "I and Thou," no "You and Me." Certainly no "Us and THEM!" We all are WE. All of us are aspects of all of us. Each of us lives out the potential inherent in--and expressed by-- the rest of us. We greet ourselves when we greet each other. Namaste! When we get the point, this is the point we get. Hating me is ridiculous. I am an extension of you. At the center of ourselves, are all selves. What is true for one is true for all. Stop acting as though you are special. You are an aspect of the whole. In our duality we are one. In our oneness we are dualities. We are an optical illusion. Now we are one. Now we are many. We are one and we are all. So what? So stop acting as though there is us and them! Live from the center of the whole! Live in ways that are good for all! Thou Art That! Live as though it is so! It is so!