Wednesday, March 27, 2019

the pearl and the muddy river











The world's spiritual geniuses seem to discover universally that the mind's muddy river, this ceaseless flow of trivia and trash, cannot be dammed, and that trying to dam it is a waste of effort that might lead to madness. Instead you must allow the muddy river to flow unheeded in the dim channels of consciousness; you raise your sights; you look along it, mildly, acknowledging its presence without interest and gazing beyond it into the realm of the real where subjects and objects act and rest purely, without utterance.


The secret of seeing is, then, the pearl of great price.
If I thought he could teach me to find it and keep it forever
I would stagger barefoot across a hundred deserts
after any lunatic at all. But although the pearl may be found,
it may not be sought.

The literature of illumination reveals this above all:
although it comes to those who wait for it, it is always,
even to the most practiced and adept, a gift and a total surprise…

I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam.
It is possible, in deep space, to sail on solar wind. Light, be it particle or wave,
has force: you rig a giant sail and go.

The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind.
Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail,
whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff.






~ Annie Dillard
from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
art by Peter Jendro
with thanks to Love is a Place
 
 
 
 

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