What do I know, except that I exist. That one ‘I’ that cannot be denied. The proof of which is in the stating of: “I don’t exist”. Who is saying that? You that don’t exist? Are these not just words – superimposed upon our deeper sense of our known existence – about which we have no doubts. There is no belief required here.
I do know I am liable suffer every time I am drifting in thoughts. Thoughts are either memories evoked from the past, or hopes, desires and fears conjured up in relation to a perceived future time. Though these thoughts can only take shape as a result of past experience. Don’t we relate to objects / concepts based upon knowledge we have gained? I couldn’t identify the chair before me if I had not previously learned that such an object is referred to as a chair. This applies to everything we encounter – I include ideas, opinions, prejudices, likes, dislikes etc. It’s how we relate to the world around us.
But why do I say I suffer? When I am trapped in memories, hopes or fears I am in effect day dreaming. And dreams as we all know are imaginary. By indulging a desire or supposed fear I am wishing things to be different than they are and this can only mean a form of suffering even if it appears in a positive glow as in the lover we know is waiting for us around the next corner. We have to snap of of this and ask ourselves, what what is wrong with now? What else has any substance but now? That same substance as that sense of ‘I exist’ which we had previously identified.
Even the subtlest of desires – the desire not to desire to be anywhere but where I am. Still I am not, but have been spirited away.
Just as here is nowhere. It’s a concept – as is the idea of a ‘present’. For true freedom is ‘being’ – free of thought – of concept. When thinking (which will always go on) is no longer attached to thoughts (which will always come and go).
So how to cultivate a no-thought state. By withdrawing into an intuitive understanding of the inevitable suffering accompanying any attachment to imaginary notions. This way we touch on the possibility of no-mind, a place where the mind rests empty, pure and untainted. Though in truth it is nearer to a state.
By resting in the no-mind state, one is in a timeless place. No future or past, and without these how can there arise a present? A present in relation to what? A continual present if you wish – which is all ‘now’ is – no beginning, no end. Not flowing out of some imaginary past into an imaginary future.
It just is. Being.