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Free From Becoming

Sal, you said that there is no thinking, there are just thoughts. So how does it work, if for example, I am using my mind, but there is no one thinking, so if I need to solve something, like if I have an exam in front of me, and I need to solve the equations, then who is doing that? Who is the doer?

There is no one doing it, it is just happening spontaneously. So, you are in university and part of that is that there is an exam. You didn't create that, right? It is just so. Then, of course, this exam needs to be completed, because that is part of the protocol. And you didn't create that either.

So, input just comes in and I am just responding to that.

You could say you are responding to that, but in truth, there is no one responding. There is just a unitary movement—thought/intention/action. Nowhere in that is there a 'you' who is responding.

So, the thought just came what needs to be done and then I just write down?

Yes, the thought comes, "This needs to be done", and because of that thought, there is an action that follows that thought, which is the movement of making it be done by arriving at the solution to the next question. If the thought didn't appear that this needs to be done, then there would be no doing of it. Do you see what I am saying?

Yes, I do.

So whatever the dominant thought or intention is, which you do not choose or create, then spontaneously comes an action that follows that intention. But this all happens all by itself. You are not creating any of it. In this case, the action is to read the next question, and then the ensuing action happens.

You said that you create couch potatoes. So what does that mean? Is this the outcome of this, that you just lie on your couch.

I use that metaphorically. But as it turns out, I seem to do a hell of a lot—making albums, film scores, writing books, working with many people on inquiries, etc. But none of it is based on any desire to be anything, nor is based on ambition or the need to be someone or feel like I have accomplished something. It's not based on any desire to succeed either, or based on any motivation to get anywhere or become anything. It's lazy. I am not the doer. For example, someone asked me to do this work and I finally agreed, after saying no several times. Then one thing just leads to another. I am just being lazy, then maybe a thought, intention appears, "Transcribe some talks for the book". I didn't create that thought. It just is. When I say I am lazy, it does not mean I do not work. I can work a lot actually. But I am very lazy about getting somewhere or being anything. I just do what is in front of me, or not.

So then, the action follows the intention to work. Listening, typing, editing—all happen as a result of that thought/intention, which I did not create. But it is not based on some idea of becoming—like I have to be successful or I have to be something, or be special. And I say honestly, if it all ends, which of course it will, it will be ok with me. I could just lie on my couch forever, but that does not seem to be what is happening. If I look at all of the things I have 'done' in recent years, I can't imagine how. It is just all flowing by like a river. And if action happens, then action happens. If no action happens, then no action happens.

Whatever I am doing, like making music, for example, I can be very focused. But there is still a laziness about it and I am just doing what is in front of me at the time. There is an ease about it. And the reason for that is that I am honestly not invested in the outcome. I do what is needed to be done, and I have no control over the outcome. I just do it because that is what is happening now. Now you may say, 'But who is doing?' It's difficult to speak without using words that sounds like a doer. But in truth, the doing itself is just happening as well. Action follows intention. An intention appears spontaneously and the action follows spontaneously based on that intention. It is all a unitary movement that is not created by a 'me'. But we speak language in terms of duality, so I say, "I do what is needed to be done."

What I am describing is what Vedanta describes as Karma Yoga. That is—you are entitled to do or want whatever you do or want, but the results are not in your control at all. It is one of the spiritual practices in Vedanta. For me, and for those who really recognize their essential being and are finished, it is not a practice, it is just how you are. That is freedom. Freedom from becoming.

From an outside perspective one could come to the conclusion that there is a lack of care. As you say, it can all end and that will be fine with you.

Yes, someone could surmise that, but that would be wrong. There is all the care in the world. I care about this work and the people I work with, and if I am making music I care to make it as good as I am able. But again, in the next moment if it is gone, ok. Yes, I am fine. That is what is. And there is that reconciliation— what is, is. If it is work, then that is what is, and if there is no work, then that is what is. But there is all the care when I am doing something. And that care is also just what is here. Caring is just what is, the same as thoughts and actions.


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